Summerlike Day Yields Abundant Cetaceans
Long Beaked Common Dolphin Juvenile as seen underwater. Photo: Bob Perry Condor Express Photos
Summer-like Day Yields Abundant Cetaceans
There was a total of 8 humpback whales (more in the distance), 1 gray whale (very shy . . going east), 2,100 long beaked common dolphins, 6 inshore bottlenose dolphins, abundant sea birds and, of course, gobs of amazing sea lions. This menu of marine mammals was spread over two trips today, one at 9am an the second at 12 noon. Not far out of the entrance to Santa Barbara Harbor we happened upon a small gray whale that did not spout, but came up once and was gone. This disappointment was quickly extinguished by the plethora of other mammals out near the Summerland offshore oil platforms and thereabouts. 3 of the humpbacks were watched on the morning trip with absolute mirror glass mill pond flat conditions with good, warm (even hot!) sun. The photographic scene could not have been better. Albeit nice to see the big humpbacks doin’ their thang, the big show stopper on the a.m. adventure was a MEGA pod of common dolphins (perhaps 1,500+) as viewed on this mirror surface. Wow. There were a few juveniles in the mix still riding alongside mom. The blog photo above shows one of them. The dolphins were stirring up the anchovies and pandemonium soon broke out with sea birds crashing and feeding with the mammals.
Captain Dave found 6 or 8 inshore bottlenose dolphins moving through the east beach anchorage and we watched them for a short while. Next we closely watched 5 more humpback whales on the 12noon expedition. Another tight, large pod of common dolphins, perhaps 600 or so, came over and played with the Condor Express.
It was a spectacular summer-like day. I’ll post up the photos sometime before Thursday.
Tomorrow we have open whale watch trips at 9am and again at 3pm.
Bob Perry Condor Express